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it be a 37% number? >> what we've proposed is to let the rates go back to the clinton era, which was a very good time. we think that's the mix. we think that makes the most sense. as i've said before, i'm very skeptical. there's a different way to do it that works economically. >> just as i understand it, not raising rates on the wealthy is something that you would be prepared to go all the way on in terms of going over the cliff. if the 39.6 number -- >> let me say it differently. congress needs to extends those tax cuts for all americans. they need to make sure no american who makes up to $250,000 a year is seeing their taxes go up. that's the most important thing people can do. remember, our obligation is first do no harm. we need to lift that threat over the economy. as part of that, along side that, we'd like to put in place, as i said, a carefully designed balance of reforms to put us on a path to sustainability. as long as there's recognition on the other side that those rates are going to go up at the end of this year, then we think we can reach an agreement on a set of reforms, as
is what has to happen, all right? the president needs to take a page out of president bill clinton -- >> he's in philadelphia with the middle class behind him and nodding and saying, i've got a pen, i've got a pen. i've still got a pen, i've still got a pen. >> president obama owes president clinton a great deal for helping him get elected. number one, we need a meaningful citizen education engagement effort with the white house in formada, next year to build the case for a grand bargain. the official version of what i did and what my colleagues did over the last several months and we need congressional hearings that will set the stage for tax reforms, social security reform and the president needs to negotiate privately and have discussions with congressional leaders of both parties privately. those three things can get us to the promt promise land. and without all three of those, we're in trouble. >> but, david, that is exactly what was supposed to happen between july of 2011 and today. and guess what? none of it has happened. none of it. we're having the same conversation. >> yo
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